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‘ROGIC DEAL IS MASSIVE,’ LENNY

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NEIL LENNON reckons Celtic have put down a massive marker by signing Tom Rogic on a five-year deal.

The Hibs boss signed the 25-year-old Aussie playmaker for the Hoops in 2013 and has watched as the player has become a favourite of the Parkhead team’s followers.

Lennon said: “It is a tremendous bit of business. He has become one of the real iconic figures at the club.

“When he first arrived, Tom needed to do a wee bit of work physically, but I think you could always see that the talent was there. I am delighted for him because I know how hard he has worked at it.

“I think it was obvious that he was a talented player when he came in, but you wold have to give great credit to Brendan Rodgers for the way that he has kicked on in the last two seasons. He has become one of the real big players at the club you can rely upon to go and make things happen.

“I think the length of the contract just shows you where Celtic are at the minute. They want their best players at the club and it really sends out a message how much they value him.”

Lennon added: “People forget that Tom missed the penalty against Rangers a couple of years ago at Hampden when Celtic were put out of the Scottish Cup. To be able to pick yourself up and get over that and go again shows great character and he has got that.

“He is a special player, a really special talent.

“I played with a lot of top players in my time at Celtic and I would say that he deserves to be right up there. He just has that quality to make something out of nothing and like all the really great players he makes the game look easy.

“He is a big guy, but he has the most nimble feet. He also has the temperament for the big games. Some of the things he can do with the ball at his feet are unbelievable.

“But he has been willing to work at it. When he first came it took a long time for him to get up to speed physically. The game was fast and he needed to adapt to that and he needed to beef up a bit.

“He’s done all that and more.

“I’m not sure we envisaged when he first arrived just how big an impact he would have, but the sheer talent and quick feet he had were there to see. I’m delighted for Tom that he is where he is and it shows you that Celtic still have that pulling power.”

 
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